September 12, 2019
Press Releases & News

Clark Construction Named a 2019 Finalist for Prestigious U.S. Chamber Foundation Citizens Award

BETHESDA, Md. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has named Clark Construction Group’s Strategic Partnership Program as a finalist in the 2019 Corporate Citizenship Awards, in the category of Best Economic Empowerment Program. Over the past 19 years, some of the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the business sector have been recognized through the Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Launched in Washington, DC, in 2006, the Strategic Partnership Program is an intensive executive MBA-style course targeted to local small business enterprises, including minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms. The primary goal of the course is to grow the capacity of small, local contractors to enable them to contribute to large-scale construction projects in the community. More than 800 small business owners and entrepreneurs have successfully completed the program nationwide.

“Small businesses are a part of the fabric of our communities and play an integral role in helping Clark deliver projects across the country. We developed the Strategic Partnership Program as a means for these firms to enhance their business and project management acumen and put themselves on a path to achieving smart, sustainable growth,” said Wesley Stith, vice president for Clark who helped establish the program in 2006. “It is incredibly rewarding to witness the many graduates who are leveraging the lessons they learned throughout the program to elevate their businesses, and even more rewarding when they are able to apply those skills on a Clark project.”

Offered at no costs to participants, the Strategic Partnership Program is taught by a combination of seasoned Clark professionals and outside industry experts. The curriculum includes weekly interactive classes focused on a wide range of topics, such as finance and accounting, insurance and bonding, project management, contracts, and estimating and purchasing; it also includes business competencies, such as networking and presentation skills.

“I really wanted to pursue entrepreneurship, and through Clark’s Strategic Partnership Program, I’ve gained more than knowledge. I’ve gained the self-confidence to successfully run my business,” said Tana Harris, CEO of Harris Hoisting. Harris, a graduate of Clark’s San Francisco Strategic Partnership Program, owns one of the only African-American and woman-owned hoisting companies in California. “I have had support from Clark every step of the way.”

In addition to its DC class, Clark has expanded the program to other cities where it builds, including Chicago, IL, Kansas City, MO, Irvine, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and, most recently, Los Angeles, CA. Currently, more than 200 small business owners are enrolled in Clark’s 2019-2020 programs across the country. To date, the company has awarded more than $1 billion of contracts to graduates of the program nationwide. In 2017 and 2018 alone, Clark awarded more than $224 million in contracts to its Strategic Partnership Program graduates, with an economic impact of $516 million.

The winners of the 2019 Corporate Citizenship Awards will be announced on November 14 at a ceremony in Washington, DC. Learn more about the awards program here.